I don’t know about where you live, but here in Oklahoma, college football is king. If you plan any event in Fall—family reunions, birthday parties, even weddings—you must first consult the football schedule. Seriously.
But, out of all the games in a season, there’s one that takes prominence if you’re a Sooner fan: the game between University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, Austin. It’s called the “Red River Showdown,” and my family always made sure we watched the game on TV every year.
My whole life I’ve heard about the hype, the stories, the tradition, the legacy, and the memories from others. Secondhand. But this year, I had the opportunity to watch the game live.
And, oh man! Everything I heard about the Red River Showdown game was true.
Stepping into the Cotton Bowl, I felt the legacy. I was part of the hype. The tradition was tangible.
I couldn’t help but think about how my experience finally attending the big game correlates to the Church.
Here’s what I mean…
I attended the OU/Texas game anticipating greatness—and it delivered! When people promise their friends and family a great experience at your church, does it deliver?
Does a first-time guest walk away thinking, “That was not at all what I was expecting!”
It’s absolutely crucial that, as churches, we do all we can to deliver a great experience—one that exceeds expectations—each and every weekend. Every single service is potentially someone’s first “game” at your church.
We spend so much time and energy inviting, promoting, and marketing our church; what good is all that effort if we don’t deliver a great experience?
3 Ways to Live Up to the Hype
- Be Consistent. Doing the right things over and over builds momentum and will lead to a successful outcome. In my ministry area, LifeKids, we ask our leaders to serve each and every weekend, which allows them to build great relationships with kids and parents. We follow the same format each week, we share our core values, we focus on being friendly. As we’re consistent and intentional in every action we take, the excellence factor of our services goes up.
- Have the right systems. Systems are important because they allow you to serve people more efficiently and effectively. For example, if you don’t have a great system in place to onboard new leaders, they won’t catch the vision of your ministry, won’t get connected to the right people, won’t be trained properly and, in turn, won’t be in a position to serve people as they attend your church.
- Be real. People can spot a fake, so be real! If you tell new attenders you want to meet them and hear their story, be available in the lobby after church. When someone opens up to you, really listen. Take their email address and follow up. I’ve often heard, “What’s in front of you is what’s most important,” and when it comes to people, that’s definitely true.
Just like the OU/Texas game delivered on 30+ years of hype for me, your church can deliver on the hype your attenders create.
What do you need to put in place this weekend to make sure you’re ready to wow first-time attenders?
Thanks to Justin Edge, Central Team Leader of LifeKids, for this post.
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